This one’s on you, Danny Ainge.
The Boston Celtics’ president of basketball operations caused a minor stir Tuesday when he tweeted a photo of forward Gordon Hayward standing without a brace on his injured left ankle. Hayward responded by tweeting an eye emoji, and the rampant speculation about his possible return picked up once again.
But head coach Brad Stevens threw cold water on that speculation Wednesday when asked for an update on Hayward.
“Obviously, nothing has changed with his timelines,” Stevens told reporters in a conference call from London, where Boston will play the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday. “This isn’t like a huge ordeal. This is what was expected.”
The Celtics (and Hayward himself) have insisted they don’t plan on him returning this season. But Hayward admitted recently his “mind is open” to possibly coming back late in the season, and Ainge hasn’t totally ruled that out, either.
Stevens would say nothing more other than Hayward is sticking to the script, however.
“I think we’re approaching 12 weeks out or something like that,” Stevens said, “and (this) was where he was anticipated to be if the treatment would continue to go well — moving out of the boot, then the brace, and now being able to do without.
“… No change in our expectations or from what we thought from the time of the surgery. This is the process of the rehab and everything else after the surgery happened. Nobody’s told me anything different. There’s nothing more to read into.”
Until the next social media post, that is.